In The News: STILL Shocked & Awed: Five years and 3,99? dead American soldiers into the U.S. quasi-legal invasion of Iraq. Sitrep.
President Bush will speak to the nation shortly about how well it's all going, while people (ANTI-WAR) party in the streets.
Stan Goff, Feral Scholar and Former U.S. Special Forces on:
19th March 2008, 04:17 pm
…is an obscenity.
Five years now, and countless lives immiserated, maimed, extinguished.
George W. Bush today puffed up his chest and declared that the incalculable horror, the sustained anguish, the terrible sin that is the war he started in Iraq, “will be discussed by military historians for many years.”
He’s right about that.
Military historians discuss a lot of pointless slaughters and social catastrophes created by men with weapons, and directed by men who fancy themselves as God.
War is not “an issue.”
War is an obscenity. [Source]
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Fierce Urgency of How
By William Fisher
My reaction to the news that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have agreed to yet another debate, this one on April 16, in Philadelphia:
Be still my heart!
Having forsworn ever watching another so-called debate for fear of dying from Trivialitis – but apparently having a strong self-destructive urge – I fear I will once again find myself hunkered down in front of my television to watch the candidates swap one-liners.
Barack will promise to bring us all together so that the nation can move forward. He’ll again assert his prewar opposition to Iraq and promise to bring our troops home. He’ll tell us yet again that we have to be as careful bringing them home as we were careless sending them in. He’ll assure Pennsylvania voters that he’s going to renegotiate NAFTA. And, of course, he’ll promise us universal health care, middle-class tax relief, better schools, secure borders, a rescue plan for victims of Katrina and sub-prime mortgages, and energy independence. And no doubt we’ll hear yet again about how John McCain would have us stay in Iraq for the next hundred years.
Hillary will tell us how ready she is to be Commander-in-Chief on Day One. She too will repeat all the lofty goals she and her opponent share – universal health care (but leaving no one out), energy independence, better teachers and smaller classrooms, an exit strategy for Iraq (two brigades a month), the NAFTA riff, secure borders, and of course middle-class tax relief, better schools, a rescue plan for victims of Katrina and sub-prime mortgages, energy independence, and John McCain’s 100-year-war.
But unless they have some kind of joint epiphany, neither candidate will talk about how they view the Constitution, the limits of Presidential Power, secretive government, how they will reach consensus with the Congress, separation of church and state, Guantanamo, Bagram, the CIA’s secret prisons, warrantless wiretapping, the respective checks-and-balances roles of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government -- and a host of other mismanaged issues that have arguably assured George W. Bush one of the most pitiful legacies of any President in our history.
Our two Democratic contenders – and the TV anchors who moderate these colloquies -- apparently believe that discussion of such issues is so far down in the weeds that viewers’ eyes will instantly glaze over and the entire nation will scramble for the remote.
But if they think of what a lot of the rest of us see as existential issues as being beyond the voters’ comprehension, I wonder how they view an equally important question: How?
By which I mean that lofty visions and even good strategies don’t answer the question of how you’re going to go about actually getting things done – swiftly, efficiently, responsibly, accountably.
Like HOW you’re going to avoid another Heck-of-a-job-Brownie moment.
HOW you’re going to bring us energy independence.
HOW you’re going to secure a peaceful Middle East.
HOW you’re going to end aggressive extremism.
HOW you’re going to execute your health care plan, put better teachers in smaller classes, and all the rest.
Dealing with the HOW is arguably even more important than figuring out the WHAT. [In Full]